People are being urged not to panic buy petrol and diesel as prices continue to skyrocket.
Oil prices have hit a new 14-year high – with the price of a barrel reaching $139 (€127.84) before falling back a little.
It is the highest price seen since the financial crash of 2008, with prices likely to increase further as the US and Europe considering a total ban on the importation of Russian fuel.
Prices at Irish petrol stations continued to rise over the weekend – but on Breakfast Business this morning, the Fuels For Ireland CEO Kevin McPartlan said panic buying will only make the problem worse.
“That really isn’t helpful because the fuel industry is based on a just-in-time logistics model,” he said.
“Fuel is very expensive to store and it is a very expensive product to sit on, so we don’t have thousands of tonnes of it hanging around waiting.
“It is always just in time so if people start buying more than their normal buying patterns then we could have a problem. I am certainly not suggesting we already have a problem but down the line we could have a problem.
“So, we are saying to people, just keep it calm, buy to your normal patterns and we’ll be grand.”
He said the main winner from the rising prices is the Exchequer – with the money taken in from VAT of fuel rising significantly on recent weeks.
“We are already up at around €2 per litre in many places already,” he said.
“The interesting thing about that is that there is only one winner in that - it is not the oil companies, it is not the wholesalers, and it is not the big oil majors on a global level - that is Government.
“So, if you are at €2 a litre for petrol, the VAT on that has gone up in the last year from 25c to 37.5C.
“So, Government is making that. On Diesel, a year ago, the VAT charge was 23c – that now would be 37.5c for two litres of fuel.”
“They are taking in a lot more in real cash terms than they were expecting to.”
He said prices at the pump can change a number of times in a single day depending on how large the petrol station is and where it is located.
“It will actually depend on how often they get deliveries in,” he said,
“So, if you are a really busy motorway site without huge storage there - so you are putting lots of volume through - they might be getting three or four, maybe more, deliveries per day and each delivery might come in at a different price.
“Then you might have a smaller, rural, low-volume store that has decent storage. They may only get a delivery every few days, so their price is going to be more stable.”
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Main image shows and Apple Green garage forecourt in County Kildare, 05-03-20222. Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie